Do I have to change my car's plates if I move to another state?

I am relocating from Chicago (Illinois) to Arkansas. I want to buy a car in Chicago, because there are more options and cheaper prices, and then drive it to Arkansas (it is only 600 miles, I can do it easily). Can I drive this car without any plates to Arkansas and then get the plates there? Or should I get the Illinois plates first, and then switch them to Arkansas plates. Do I have to pay for changing my plates?

3 Answers

  • Bob L
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Get your car in Illinois, get your insurance card, purchase a temporary Illinois tag, then drive it to Arkansas where you will permanently register the car with normal plates. Most States offer temporary tags, and they are good for 30 to 90 days, depending on the State.

    Temporary tags are inexpensive. Let your Illinois DMV Office know that you are moving and only need a tag to transport the car out of state.

  • 8 years ago

    You might wanna buy the plate in Illinois. I don't think you have to pay for them, you can just ask for the company to fix a plate while buying it. You don't wanna get a ticket while starting your life in Arkansas do you?

  • 8 years ago

    If you are buying from a dealer, tell them you want to register in Arkansas, not Illinois, and they can get you a temporary plate to drive it there.

    If you are buying from an individual he will keep the plates.


    Registration expires on transfer by owner and no refunds on registration fees are allowed.

    The transferor must remove plates and stickers and either forward them to the Secretary of State or have them assigned to another vehicle upon payment of fees.

    When any person who has been issued vanity or personalized license plates sells, trades, or otherwise releases the ownership of the vehicle, he or she shall immediately report the transfer of such plates to an acquired motor vehicle and pay the transfer fee or shall, upon the request of the Secretary, immediately return such plates to the Secretary of State.

    Based on what I'm seeing on the web page, you will have to register in Illinois, then transfer your plates and license in Arkansas.

    Moving from IL

    No surrendering of license plates when you move out of Illinois. The plates are yours. Keep as souvenirs, or check if your new neighborhood offers license plate recycling.

    Know what to expect before moving. Visit our Moving Out of Illinois page.

    Buying a Used Car in IL

    When it comes to buying there is no surrendering of license plates. After agreeing to buy, you must register the car with the SOS. You may, if needed, apply for a temporary registration permit, valid for 90 days, while waiting for your permanent license plates to arrive.

    For more details on buying a car, check out our Vehicle Title Transfers page.

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